HSS Lathe Tool Shapes and Angles

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Well-Known Member
HMEM Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2019
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Charlottesville, VA
Hi Guys, I've not been around for a bit, so may have missed a lot of stuff !

I made a Norman Patent tool post for my lathe, quite easy to make and adjust. I made two one for the front and a second one for use at the rear. Mainly for parting off. However the tool holders are interchangeable so that I can use either one on the front or rear posts.

These pictures show mine ! At one time Myford used to provide this type of tool post. A number of these have been built to suit smaller and larger lathes.
Baron, did you harden that or use something other than the usual low carbon mild steel? I am not in the habit of using or doing anything special for the tooling parts I make, and sometimes I am disappointed when they quickly show wear and tear.
Thanks, Lloyd


Grumpy Old Git.
Dec 6, 2013
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York, North Yorkshire
Hi Lloyd,

No I didn't do or use anything special ! The tool holders were cut from a bar of 1" inch thick free machining steel. Most of the machining was done on the lathe. The only mill work was cutting the tool slot and rounding the back end. I used a 25 mm carbide wood work router cutter for that.

One of the things that seems to fox people is making the split collet used to clamp the tool holder to the tool post. The trick there is to drill the uncut collet right through and thread the ends so that the collet can be securely fastened prior to machining the tool post hole, then the collect is machined as part of machining the hole for the tool post. When its removed for cutting in half, one half is drilled out to remove the threads, whilst the other half is threaded right through. I used an M6 Allen cap screw in mine. It takes very little pressure on the screw in order to lock the tool holder to the post, maybe a quarter of a turn.

These two pictures show how the tool holder block is held in the four jaw and how I fastened the cotter pin. The second picture shows me measuring the bore of the post hole.


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